Motion for a resolution - B9-0342/2021Motion for a resolution
B9-0342/2021

    MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the human rights and political situation in Cuba

    7.6.2021 - (2021/2745(RSP))

    to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
    pursuant to Rule 132(2) of the Rules of Procedure

    Manu Pineda
    on behalf of The Left Group

    Procedure : 2021/2745(RSP)
    Document stages in plenary
    Document selected :  
    B9-0342/2021
    Texts tabled :
    B9-0342/2021
    Texts adopted :

    B9‑0342/2021

    European Parliament resolution on the human rights and political situation in Cuba

    (2021/2745(RSP))

    The European Parliament,

     having regard to the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba,

     having regard to the principles laid down in the UN Charter,

     having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights treaties and instruments,

     having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and in particular to Articles 1 thereof,

     having regard to UN General Assembly resolution of 7 November 2019 on the Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba and previous General Assembly resolutions on this topic,

     having regard to the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Cuba, of the other part[1] (the EU-Cuba Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement),

     having regard to Rule 132(2) of its rules of procedure,

    A. whereas the US economic, trade and financial blockade on Cuba constitutes a violation of the human rights of the Cuban people that qualifies as an act of economic warfare hindering the development of the Cuban people and the full achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals; whereas the US-imposed Helms-Burton Act violates several principles of international law and the rules of the multilateral trade and commerce system; whereas the extraterritorial application of the US blockade goes against the sovereignty of other countries, including Member States;

    B. whereas the consequences of the US economic, trade and financial blockade have been aggravated by the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, as it hinders Cuba’s access to vital medicines and medical material;

    C. whereas the number of US-imposed unilateral coercive measures against Cuba has increased in recent years; whereas the Trump administration imposed 243 unilateral coercive measures against Cuba during its mandate, which have not been modified by the current Biden administration;

    D. whereas on 12 January 2021, Cuba was included in the US list of state sponsors of terrorism for no logical reason; whereas this inclusion will increase the devastating social, economic and trade consequences of the blockade;

    E. whereas the accumulated economic losses of the Cuban people as a result of the US economic, trade and financial blockade are estimated to add up to USD 1.099 billion; whereas the economic losses caused by this illegal imposition in 2020 have been calculated to be around USD 5.570 million;

    F. whereas the implementation by the US authorities of Titles III and IV of the Helms-Burton Act directly affect EU citizens and companies and constitutes a violation of commitments made under the EU-US agreements of 1997 and 1998;

    G. whereas for 27 years the UN General Assembly has almost unanimously condemned the US blockade against Cuba;

    H. whereas the US continues to occupy Cuban territory in Guantánamo Bay, where it has a naval base and a military prison; whereas the human rights of detainees are systematically violated in the Guantánamo Bay military prison; whereas nine prisoners have died while in custody; whereas several reports and former detainees have confirmed that torture and sexual abuse are routinely used against prisoners; whereas despite the transfer of most prisoners in January 2021, some prisoners are still being held without trial at Guantánamo Bay;

    I. whereas the EU-Cuba Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement has been an important step forward towards the normalisation of relations between the two parties and the development of mutually beneficial relations in different fields;

    J. whereas the EU-Cuba Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement has been provisionally applied since 1 November 2017 while awaiting ratification by all Member States; whereas Lithuania, which did not voice its opposition to the agreement, is the only Member State not to have ratified it;

    K. whereas the EU-Cuba Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement has been a success so far, leading to an institutionalisation of relations and cooperation between the EU and Cuba at a level of consolidation without precedent, particularly around the agreement’s three main chapters on political dialogue, sectorial dialogue and cooperation;

    L. whereas Cuba is a global reference in so-called south-south cooperation and closely cooperates with countries in its region and throughout the world in projects promoting human rights, including social and economic rights and the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals;

    M. whereas Cuban cooperation in the area of healthcare is particularly relevant given the important humanitarian role it plays in several countries; whereas the Henry Reeve Medical Brigade is currently playing a fundamental role, with over 1 500 doctors and nurses fighting COVID-19; whereas since the outbreak of the pandemic it has sent 57 missions to 40 different countries, including EU Member States;

    N. whereas despite the economic and trade hardships resulting from the US economic, trade and financial blockade, Cuba has managed to develop its own vaccines called Soberana 02 and Abdala, which are in the final phase of their clinic trials; whereas it is estimated that the development of these vaccines has been between 50 % and 65 % more expensive than it would have been without the US blockade given the difficulties Cuba faces in accessing international markets;

    O. whereas Cuba amended its constitution in 2019 through a participatory process which ended in a referendum; whereas the new constitution was supported by over 86 % of Cuban citizens;

    P. whereas Cuba features among the countries that have ratified the highest number of international human rights instruments, and constitutionally guarantees human rights, inter alia freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of association and peaceful assembly, the right to equality, sexual and reproductive rights, non-discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity, access to adequate housing, and free and universal healthcare and education;

    Q. whereas Cuba plays a leading role in the area of gender equality in its region; whereas Article 43 of the Cuban Constitution establishes gender equality in all fields, including in the economic, political, cultural, employment, social and family fields; whereas 53 % of the seats in the Cuban National Assembly are occupied by women; whereas the Cuban Government engages in positive measures to promote the equality of all women, including from groups which historically have been particularly marginalised, such as Afro-Cuban women; whereas Cuba is one of the few countries in Latin America and the Caribbean ensuring full access to sexual and reproductive rights;

    R. whereas the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has recognised Cuba’s efforts towards the global eradication of hunger and malnutrition; whereas Cuba’s agricultural model, based on the principle of food sovereignty, has achieved universal access to basic products;

    S. whereas Cuba’s free and universal access to healthcare and education has enabled it to rank among the world’s most developed countries in these areas; whereas the quality of Cuba’s education leads to thousands of students from Latin America and other countries pursuing higher education in Cuba; whereas Cuba’s strong public research sector is responsible for important developments in recent years such as the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis;

    T. whereas the current National Assembly of People’s Power of Cuba was elected in March 2018; whereas the National Assembly elected Miguel Díaz-Canel as president in April 2019 in accordance with Cuba’s constitutional rules; whereas he is the first president born after the Cuban Revolution, confirming the consolidation of Cuba’s political, economic and social model;

    U. whereas all people have the right to self-determination and therefore can freely determine the development of their own political, economic and social model;

    1. Expresses full solidarity with the people of Cuba regarding the ongoing challenges they face in their economic and social development due to impositions by foreign powers;

    2. Calls for the immediate lifting of the US-imposed economic, trade and financial blockade and all other unilateral coercive measures and the removal of Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism;

    3. Denounces the consequences for EU citizens of the extraterritorial application of the US economic, trade and financial blockade and Titles III and IV of the Helms-Burton Act and calls on the US authorities to immediately end this practice; calls on the Commission to develop measures to counter the effects of this policy in collaboration with other countries;

    4. Calls for an immediate dismantlement of the naval base and military prison in Guantánamo Bay and the withdrawal of all US forces from Cuban territory; calls on the US authorities to guarantee the respect of the human rights of prisoners remaining in Guantánamo Bay, including their right to a fair trial;

    5. Calls for EU-Cuba relations to be strengthened on the basis of dialogue and cooperation on common challenges such as climate change or the full achievement of the goals set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;

    6. Stresses the importance of the EU-Cuba Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement as a key tool to promote understanding and mutually beneficial relations between the EU and Cuba; calls on the Lithuanian authorities to ratify the agreement without delay;

    7. Stresses Cuba’s role in the promotion of human rights on a regional and international level; highlights the efforts made by the Cuban Government and the Cuban people in order to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the country’s important role in promoting them;

    8. Commends the important role played by Cuba in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and in particular the role played by the Henry Reeve Medical Brigade, which is an example of solidarity and has contributed, thanks to its doctors and nurses, to saving lives around the world, including in the EU; welcomes the nomination of the Henry Reeve Medical Brigade for the Nobel Peace Prize;

    9. Condemns the instrumentalisation of human rights for political purposes with the goal of interfering in the internal affairs of the Republic of Cuba by several political forces in the EU and within the European Parliament; calls on the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to continue to pursue an independent policy based on dialogue and cooperation and not to replicate the confrontational approach of the US;

    10. Stresses that all nations are entitled to self-determination, which grants them the right to choose and develop their own economic, political and social model;

    11. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, and the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the parliaments and governments of the Member States, the Government and the National Assembly of the Republic of Cuba, the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly, and the Latin American regional bodies, including the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.

    Last updated: 8 June 2021
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